Women of our World, "Happy St. Patrick’s Day!"


A Celebration of Women™

sends our blessings to the Women of our World, celebrating this day of St. Patrick.

May the Luck of the Irish follow you always…..



March 17, 2012



Saint Patrick, who was to become the patron saint of Ireland, was born to wealthy parents around the year 385 AD. Although there is some controversy over the exact place of his birth it is said that he was born in either Scotland or Roman England. His given name at birth was Maewyn Succat; his Romanicized name was Patricius, which later came to be known as Patrick. He died on March 17 in 461 AD. This day has been commemorated as Saint Patrick’s Day ever since.

Though he was not born Irish he became an essential part of Irish heritage, mainly through his service across Ireland in the fifth century. His service in Ireland lasted for thirty years. He considered himself to be a pagan until the age of sixteen, when he was taken prisoner, and sold into slavery, by a group of Irish raiders that invaded his village. He spent six years in captivity near Killala in County Mayo where he worked as a shepherd. Much of his work was outdoors and in an environment that was solitary. He became lonely and fearful and turned to religion for comfort. It is said that during this time he developed an awareness for spirituality and grew closer to God, becoming a devout Christian.

After six years of imprisonment he escaped from slavery and went to Gaul to study in a monastery. Two years later he was appointed the second bishop to Ireland as Saint Patrick, the Christian name he had adopted earlier. He traveled all through Ireland for twenty years setting up schools and churches, and establishing monasteries across the country. Saint Patrick documented his missionary work in a spiritual autobiography called The Confessio.

There are many legends surrounding Saint Patrick’s Day. One of the most famous legends about Saint Patrick states that he gave a sermon from a hilltop that drove all the venomous snakes out of Ireland and into the sea where they drowned. Another legend reveals that he used the three-leafed shamrock to describe the concept of the Holy Trinity. He explained that the three leafs represented the Father, His Son, and the Holy Spirit. The shamrock became an icon of great significance and is worn on Saint Patrick’s Day.


In Ireland

Saint Patrick’s feast day, as a kind of national day, was already being celebrated by the Irish in Europe in the ninth and tenth centuries. In later times, he became more and more widely known as the Patron of Ireland. Saint Patrick’s feast day was finally placed on the universal liturgical calendar in the Catholic Church due to the influence of Waterford-born Franciscan scholar Luke Wadding in the early 1600s.



Saint Patrick’s Day thus became a holy day of obligation for Roman Catholics in Ireland.

The church calendar avoids the observance of saints’ feasts during certain solemnities, moving the saint’s day to a time outside those periods. Saint Patrick’s Day is occasionally affected by this requirement, when 17 March falls during Holy Week. This happened in 1940, when Saint Patrick’s Day was observed on 3 April in order to avoid it coinciding with Palm Sunday, and again in 2008, where it was officially observed on 14 March (15 March being used for St. Joseph, which had to be moved from March 19), although the secular celebration still took place on 17 March. (In other countries, St. Patrick’s feast day is also March 17, but liturgical celebration is omitted when impeded by Sunday or by Holy Week.)

Saint Patrick’s Day will not fall within Holy Week again until 2160.

The first Saint Patrick’s Festival was held on 17 March 1996. In 1997, it became a three-day event, and by 2000 it was a four-day event. By 2006, the festival was five days long; more than 675,000 people attended the 2009 parade. Overall 2009’s five day festival saw close to 1 million visitors, who took part in festivities that included concerts, outdoor theatre performances, and fireworks.

The topic of the 2004 St. Patrick’s Symposium was “Talking Irish,” during which the nature of Irish identity, economic success, and the future were discussed. Since 1996, there has been a greater emphasis on celebrating and projecting a fluid and inclusive notion of “Irishness” rather than an identity based around traditional religious or ethnic allegiance. The week around Saint Patrick’s Day usually involves Irish language speakers using more Irish during seachtain na Gaeilge (“Irish Week”).

As well as Dublin, many other cities, towns, and villages in Ireland hold their own parades and festivals, including Cork, Belfast, Derry, Galway, Kilkenny, Limerick, and Waterford.

The biggest celebrations outside Dublin are in Downpatrick, County Down, where Saint Patrick is rumoured to be buried. In 2004, according to Down District Council, the week-long St. Patrick’s Festival had more than 2,000 participants and 82 floats, bands, and performers and was watched by more than 30,000 people.


The shortest St Patrick’s Day parade in the world takes place in Dripsey, Cork.

The parade lasts just 100 yards and travels between the village’s two pubs.

Christian leaders in Ireland have expressed concern about the secularisation of St Patrick’s Day. In The Word magazine’s March 2007 issue, Fr. Vincent Twomey wrote, “It is time to reclaim St Patrick’s Day as a church festival.” He questioned the need for “mindless alcohol-fuelled revelry” and concluded that “it is time to bring the piety and the fun together.”


Early Celebrations

The Charitable Irish Society of Boston organised the first observance of St. Patrick’s Day in the Thirteen Colonies. Surprisingly, the celebration was not Catholic in nature, Irish immigration to the colonies having been dominated by Protestants. The society’s purpose in gathering was simply to honour its homeland, and although they continued to meet annually to coordinate charitable works for the Irish community in Boston, they did not meet on the 17th of March again until 1794.

New York’s first Saint Patrick’s Day observance was similar in nature to that of Boston’s. It was held on 17 March 1762 in the home of John Marshall, an Irish Protestant, and over the next few years informal gatherings by Irish immigrants were the norm. The first recorded parade in New York was by Irish soldiers in the British Army in 1766. In 1780, General George Washington, who commanded soldiers of Irish descent in the Continental Army, allowed his troops a holiday on 17 March “as an act of solidarity with the Irish in their fight for independence.”

This event became known as The St. Patrick’s Day Encampment of 1780.

Postcard postmarked 1912 in the United States


Irish patriotism in New York City continued to soar and the parade in New York City continued to grow. Irish aid societies were created like Friendly Sons of St. Patrick and the Hibernian Society and they marched in the parades too. Finally when many of these aid societies joined forces in 1848 the parade became not only the largest parade in the United States but one of the largest in the world.



Customs today

In every year since 1991, March has been proclaimed Irish-American Heritage Month by the US Congress or President due to the date of St. Patrick’s Day. Today, Saint Patrick’s Day is widely celebrated in America by Irish and non-Irish alike. It is one of the leading days for consumption of alcohol in the United States, and is typically one of the busiest days of the year for bars and restaurants. Many people, regardless of ethnic background, wear green clothing and items. Traditionally, those who are caught not wearing green are pinched affectionately.  


Seattle and other cities paint the traffic stripe of their parade routes green. Chicago dyes its river green and has done so since 1962 when sewer workers used green dye to check for sewer discharges and had the idea to turn the river green for Saint Patrick’s Day. Originally 100 pounds of vegetable dye was used to turn the river green for a whole week but now only forty pounds of dye is used and the colour only lasts for several hours. Indianapolis also dyes its main canal green. Savannah dyes its downtown city fountains green.

Missouri University of Science and Technology – St Pat’s Board Alumni paint 12 city blocks kelly green with mops before the annual parade. In Jamestown, New York, the Chadakoin River (a small tributary that connects Conewango Creek with its source at Chautauqua Lake) is dyed green each year.

Columbia, SC dyes its fountain green in the area known as Five Points (a popular collegiate location near the University of South Carolina). A two day celebration is held over St Patrick’s Day weekend.

In Boston, Evacuation Day is celebrated as a public holiday for Suffolk County.


Sign from the Guinness Storehouse; making Everyone Irish on March 17th!  




While officially commemorating the British departure from Boston, it was made an official holiday after Saint Patrick’s Day parades had been occurring in Boston for several decades, and is often believed to have been popularised because of its falling on the same day as Saint Patrick’s Day.


Source: Thanks to Wikipedia

HOW TO MAKE ‘GREEN BEER’:    http://beer.about.com/od/drinksmadewithbeer/r/GreenBeerRecipe.htm?nl=1


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Happy St. Paddy’s Day!


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